The plan has been developed to provide information to the Facilities Services staff and the University community about the locations of asbestos material on campus and the safety procedures when handling or working around asbestos containing material. The plan includes the following:
Asbestos Awareness training is offered annually to all staff in Facilities Services. The training will provide information regarding safety and compliance when handling asbestos containing material (ACM) and information on the exposure mechanisms and health effects. An “Asbestos Awareness, Understanding the Risks” training DVD is also available to all University faculty and staff through the Facilities Services Office.
Asbestos is a material that can cause injury to an individual if they are exposed in heavy concentrations over a long period of time. Asbestos fibers are airborne transmitted, commonly entering the body by breathing. Asbestos fibers become airborne when they are friable, meaning you can crush the dry material in your hand. It can be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure. The most common type of friable asbestos material is contained in some hot water pipe insulation.
Asbestos does not present a danger as long as it is managed, meaning you know where it is located, that you inspect it regularly, and avoid disturbing that material. Managed means that the friable materials remain contained, sealed, or encapsulated. Make sure that you do not disturb or damage any ACM by grinding, crushing, sawing, drilling, chipping, boring, or pulverizing the material. The Asbestos Management Plan is a series of policies and practices describing the management and safe removal.
Asbestos in concentrations greater than 1 part per million (ppm) by volume are regulated. This means that certain federal and state laws are in effect for the protection of the occupant. The regulations are administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS). Trace content, less than 1 ppm, is not regulated because it does not pose a health risk.
Most asbestos is present in mechanical rooms in the form of pipe insulation or in floor tile. A material is homogeneous when all the materials in the same building are similar. An example of homogeneous material is the floor tile in a building of the same size and color. A test is performed on one piece of sample tile. If the test for asbestos is positive, then all tile of the same style or color is assumed to be positive. Likewise, if it is negative, then all tiles are considered negative.
The following type of materials may contain asbestos. If your job task requires you to work with or around any of the following structures, consult your supervisor and review the completed surveys to determine if the structure has been identified to contain asbestos.
St. Mary’s University strives to maintain a work place that is safe from accidental exposure to asbestos through administrative controls, engineering controls, and use personal protective equipment.
Facilities Services management oversees all work and contractors to ensure safety and compliance. The Associate Director of Operations and Construction Management is responsible for the retention of records relating to asbestos abatement projects, as well as the updating of the information pertaining to the location of ACM on campus. All contractors hired to provide asbestos abatement are licensed and certified in abatement and disposal of ACM. St. Mary’s employees who might perform work in areas that may contain ACM shall be trained on asbestos handling safety procedures and supervised by a qualified person that is certified in asbestos abatement. Records of asbestos survey, abatement, and disposal are kept in the Facilities Service Skilled Crafts Office. The Asbestos Management Plan shall be reviewed and updated on a regular basis to ensure accurate information is available to employees.
Available in the Office of Facilities Services:
Campus locations that have been surveyed for asbestos containing material